Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum

It has been a while now that I have wanted to visit the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum in Golden, Colorado. I’ve read articles about it, heard it was awesome, and still never have ventured to the far west side of the Metro to pay a visit. Well, the time had come; my daughter had a Girl Scout event at the School of Mines earlier this year and while waiting for her event to finish the rest of the family went to the museum…and we’re glad we did! It did not disappoint; the local Colorado collections they had were outstanding!

What I liked most was the fact that they had similar specimens from popular Colorado localities that I have collected. In most all cases their examples of the mineral(s) were much better than I have, but in a few examples I have found similar quality specimens from the same localities. Because I have been to the same location as these were unearthed from; I also was able to definitively identify several specimens that I was only partially sure about!

There were also several specimens that I really like that I have not found that mineral anywhere yet; but they were so cool that I had to take a photo of it anyway. The museum is full of wonderful specimens — these pictures don’t do it justice; you have to *BE* there to truly grasp the magnitude of the beauty of these specimens, but hopefully the pictures get you itching to visit Golden on your next trip to the metro area!

Calcite and Pyrite

A person at the colosseum show a couple years ago had several of these for sale for cheap. I bought one in the same league than this!

Fluorite

Oklahoma Galena

Oklahoma Galena, this is an awesome specimen!  As a storm chaser I remember when Picher was partially destroyed by a tornado in 2008…what I didn’t realize is that it was a Superfund site and is one of the most toxic places in the US.  Picher is a modern day ghost town for a good reason!

Rhodochrosite Stalagmites

Rhodochrosite Stalagmites

NTM Zoelites

North Table Mountain Zoelites

Back in 2010 I was able to visit North Table Mountain on a field trip with the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society club.  This is on Jefferson County Open Space and there is no collecting usually allowed per their website; but the club had a permit which allowed us to collect.  We did find some great crystals as you will see in that blog post. Below are the fantastic zeolite crystal specimens they had in the museum.

NTM Thompsonite

North Table Mountain Thomsonite

North Table Mountain Chabazite

North Table Mountain Chabazite – We found an awesome vug lined with Chabazite during a NTM club fieldtrip!

tn_MinesMuseum-2379

tn_MinesMuseum-2380

tn_MinesMuseum-2381

tn_MinesMuseum-2383

Quartz after Halite

This Quartz after Halite specimen is awesome!

Goethite after Pyrite

I love Goethite and Pyrite; this is the best of both!

Quartz after Fluorite

This Quartz after Fluorite is just amazing!

Fluorite

Fluorite. I found a similar piece at the Smoky Hawk mine during one of the club field trips.

Here is the similar (not as big but just as gemmy) fluorite I found at the Smoky Hawk mine.

Crystal Hill Amethyst

Crystal Hill Amethyst Cluster – I have yet to find Amethyst at this locality.

Bone

Petrified Spruce

Petrified Spruce

Petrified Wood

One of the various Petrified wood slabs they had on exhibit — Joshua Tree.

Petrified Wood

One of the various Petrified wood slabs they had on exhibit

 

Obliq Museum: genoQs machines Octopus MIDI Sequencer

The genoQs machines Octopus MIDI sequencer is the all-time KING of step sequencers IMHO.  This hardware-only interface will boggle the mind of any laptop-jock, but for those like me that are into hardware this is probably one of the best sequencers that will ever be made.  This German engineered musical instrument controller is actually quite simple, ergonomic and elegant and packs a ton of power into your studio!  Any feature is less than two clicks away!

My only gripe is I’m not in my studio often enough and I tend to forget some of the steps for functionality; for example I always seem to hit the manual to remember how to put it in MIDI slave mode.  That is what cheat sheets are for.  If you have any handy cheat sheet references, leave a comment as I’d love to include them here.  I’ll upload mine soon.

Black Sea Octopus

The rare, limited edition genoQs machines Octopus Black Sea edition (#8 of 20) – King of MIDI Sequencers

I was so excited when I read about the release of this MIDI controller I contacted the manufacturer in Germany and put one on order.  Contractually I had to purchase through their US distributor but mine was the first one shipped to the USA.  A while later I had the chance to acquire the ultra cool and very limited Black Sea edition.  Although this is a beautiful edition, I ended up trading it and continued to use the original “Classic Legacy” edition in my studio.

Early in 2011 genoqs machines posted to the internet they were going to be going out of business; although they said they’d keep up their website and offer limited support.  Fast forward three years and their website is down and manuals and OS versions are hard to come by.  Often is the case with boutique equipment; I have no clue how many they sold, but with the several limited edition runs I suspect there are 200+ that made it to studios around the world!

UPDATE:  On 2/13/15 on the genoQs_users Yahoo Groups list it was announced that genoQs Mahines have put back up their website at http://www.genoqs.com.  This contains all the latest and greatest information that was there before.  I’ll continue to keep these things up on my site, but great news!

genoQs machines octopus

genoQs machines Octopus (now called Classic Legacy edition) – First one imported into the USA – the brains in my studio (even when I’m there!)

I decided I would post what documentation and operating systems I had to the internet as these are scattered around the web (at best), and may become hard to find in the future.  If you have other documentation that I don’t or OS versions and would like to add to this archive, I’d be glad to include it here, please contact me if that is the case.

Here are a couple of pretty useless videos i shot when I had both the Original and Black Sea versions; more eye candy than anything useful.

Here are some of the files, again if you have files that I don’t, I’d love to improve this archive so please let me know what you have!

Operating Systems

Manuals

  • Legacy v1.62
  • Black Sea v1.62 (NOTE:  The Black Sea and other editions have exactly the same functionality, just different colored LEDs that are described accurately in this version.)

Other

Tutorials

Links

  • Yahoo Groups (lots of documentation and updated OS for Octopus and Nemo)

Moog Modular Schematic Blueprints :: Obliq Museum

Moog 901-A Oscillator Controller

Moog 901-A Oscillator Controller, Drawing 1100, July 2, 1969

About 16 years ago I bought a PolyMoog Synthesizer from a Pawn Shop up in Brighton.  It was in good shape and came with the PolyPedal, but didn’t have the legs or power cord.  I found a computer power cord in the shop and asked the broker if I could give it a try.  At first he was reluctant, but then allowed me to try.  It acted as if it had a stuck key; I knew this could be a much bigger issue than just a key; so I talked to him and got a really good deal on it!

I bought the schematics and operations manuals online and took it apart and looked to see if it was something mechanical or “simple”…but I was unable to figure out the issue.  I figured I’d send it out to a tech sometime; but given its weight I wanted the tech to be close to home.  Meanwhile, I found a PolyMoog Road Kit on eBay and I won that auction.  This parts kit was essential for bands who were on the road with one of these beasts, so I was told.  This came from a former employee that worked in the Moog Trumansburg Factory.  He included with this auction lot several Moog schematic blueprints and an EMU modular catalog!!!  *BONUS* 🙂

Fast forward 15+ years… I found a great tech here locally just a few months back (Chris Rowland, offbeat electronics) — who I highly recommend, btw — who has put to good use that PolyMoog Road Kit.  I hope to get my Moog back in pristine working condition here shortly.  Meanwhile, I finally took some photos of these schematics that I have framed and hanging in my man-cave.  Click on them for a larger image; and some didn’t come out as clear as I wanted; if you want higher resolution let me know and I’ll work harder to get a better shot!

Here are some more schematics and a great article.

Here is the full list of schematics:

    • 901-A Oscillator Controller (July 2, 1969 #1000)
    • 901-C Output Stage (February 14, 1967 #1126)
    • 904-A Low Pass Filter (July 27, 1967 #1149)
    • 904-B High Pass Filter (December 1966 #1118)
    • 904-C Voltage Controlled Filter Coupler (July 14, 1967 #1148)
    • 905 Reverberation (July 26, 1966 #1104)
    • 910 Power Supply (March 8, 1965 #1058)
    • 911 Envelope Generator (August 14, 1968 #1220)
    • 911-A Dual Trigger Delay (July 13, 1967 #1146)
    • 912 Envelope Follower (March 10, 1967 #1130)
    • 914 Fixed Filter Bank (June 28, 1967 #1142)
    • 961 Controller
    • 1150 Ribbon Controller
    • Synthesizer 10 (December 30, 1969 #1374)
    • Console Panel 3 (February 27, 1968 #1170)

If you have any of these, or have images or links to others, please post in the comments; I would love to see more!  These look great framed and hanging on the walls!

Moog 904-A Low Pass Filter Schematic

Moog 904-A Low Pass Filter Schematic, Drawing 1149, July 25, 1967

Moog 904-B High Pass Filter Schematic

Moog 904-B High Pass Filter Schematic, Drawing 1118, December 1966

Moog 905 Reverberation Schematic

Moog 905 Reverberation Schematic, Drawing 1104, July 26, 1966

Moog 961 Controller Schematics

Moog 961 Interface Schematics

Moog Synthesizer 10 Schematics

Moog Synthesizer 10 Schematics, Drawing 1374, December 30, 1969

 

 

Roland HS-60 / SynthPlus 60 / Juno-106 :: Obliq Museum

Roland Home Series Synth Plus 60

Roland Home Series Synth Plus 60

I found this locally from a really cool guy near town this week. Ended up heading up during a blizzard and was stopped on the interstate due to multiple wrecks…ended up getting led off the interstate by turning around and going the wrong way to the nearest on-ramp…I thought the synth was gone as the seller said there were other interested parties…but the next day it was available and I went to pick it up.

The synth overall was in wonderful shape; there were only two real issues with it:
1) The rate slider was broken off; thus missing the slider cap too.
2) The Bender plate/mechanism is pretty loose.
3) The sheet music holder is missing
4) There is a screened on logo of the keyboard store in Omaha front/center of the unit (I would never have bought this new with that on it!)

Great shape except the broken slider, and screened logo of the original seller!

Great shape except the broken slider, and screened logo of the original seller!

So, I pulled out the schematic from the internet and saw that all but the HPF sliders are 50K so I found one (with a Juno slider cap!) and have it on order. I should have this early next week and will pull this apart and fix that slider and tighten the Bender plate! I’m going to not worry about the other two issues.

Close up of the Control Panel...

Close up of the Control Panel...

The HS stood for Home Series and Roland had several in this line during the mid-80s. The thought I think was to give these to aspiring musicians and people taking piano lessons at home or school. To make it more “home” friendly they stripped the colors of the Juno-106 and added speakers–which sound very nice in my opinion!

The interface of this synth!  MIDI In/Out/Thru and program protect are not shown

The interface of this synth! MIDI In/Out/Thru and program protect are not shown

Even though there is only one DCO per voice; this 6 voice machine has classic, wonderful sounds.  You can stack all 6 DCOs at once which has a really thick and aggressive sound!  You can also add one of the two Chorus features which also thickens the sound…the Chorus functions are really sweet!  I have owned several Juno-106s in the past; but for whatever reason I got rid of them (trades, etc) and lately I have been wanting back that “classic” Roland sound back in my studio! That occurred this week!  I also got a hefty anvil case with this synth, although its a pretty tight fit…

The heavy duty Anvil case

The heavy duty Anvil case

Both kids like it as well!  I look forward to plugging it into the genoQs Octopus sequencer and having some fun!  I’ve also picked up the Roland JX-3P lately so I think I’ll have a dueling Roland session with the Octopus soon!

RESTORATION UPDATE:  4/27/2013

I purchased a 50k slider on eBay that had a slider cap (unfortunately white) and finally got around to taking the HS-60 apart and replacing that slider.  Pulling off the 5 screws per side in the plastic siding, and then the 2 screws per PCB (main PCB and MIDI) on the back, and finally the 6 or 7 screws from the panel PCB.

HS-60 encased speakers

HS-60 encased speakers

These speakers get REALLY loud; I usually have the volume at 3 or 4.  The inside of the synthesizer was VERY clean!

Juno 106 and HS 60 are the same beast!

Juno 106 and HS 60 Jack PCB.

The boards and assembly are really professional in the HS-60.  The panel in on a taught hinge which made it really easy to work on.

The Panel Board - 50K rate slider Fixed!

The Panel Board - 50K rate slider Fixed!

The LFO rate slider is all the way on the left.  This 50k slider was super quick to replace once I got to it.  I had to take off the Panel PCB, MIDI Jack PCB and Jack PCB.  Overall, this took about 45 minutes to complete.

Cool HS Shadows

Cool HS Shadows

 

Arp 2600 Rev 3 – Classic Analog Semi-modular Synthesizer :: Obliq Museum

Wow, this was an amazing piece of gear. Lots of tracks from the Obliq archives and official releases contained this piece. I sold it to re-gear and bought an Octopus and other gear with it. I miss it; but it definitely made its way into a ton of tracks so I can’t say I’m too sorry to see it gone; but I am!

Here are some tracks that included this beast:
Freq Modif – almost all the early tracks
Freq Modif – Larkspur
Multicast – El Sid (the last Arp 2600 track we did)

arp2600

Arp 2600 Rev 3 + Keyboard

Arp 2600 Rev 3 + Keyboard

Arp 2600 Rev 3 + Keyboard

Arp 2600 Rev 3 + Keyboard

Arp 2600 Rev 3 + Keyboard

Arp 2600 Rev 3 + Keyboard

Arp 2600 Rev 3 + Keyboard

Arp 2600 Rev 3 + Keyboard

Arp 2600 Rev 3 + Keyboard

Arp 2600 Rev 3 + Keyboard

Steiner Parker Synthasystem Modular :: Obliq Museum

What an killer synthesizer. The filter is absolutely piercing, it sounds like it could literally shred your speaker.

This was made in the mid-70’s and only a small handful were produced. I doubt you will see many of these go for sale in the upcoming years (if not decade!) and I would be surprised to see one in better shape. This thing can produce some crazy sounds; great for sci-fi type stuff !!!

I was contacted by David Ingebretsen about this unit over the course of several years as he used to work for Steiner Parker assembling synthesizers. He wanted to find everything he could about building the synth that he always wanted. Well, he teamed up with Nyle Steiner and made Steiners avaiable again!!! Check out his website for more information DIY Synthasystem right now!!!

This exact unit was had a cameo in the 2004 documentary on Haack: The King of Techno; this one came from Stony Brook University in New York and was in some of the archive footage.  Bruce Haack used this modular is his early works!

Steiner-Parker Synthasystem

Steiner-Parker Synthasystem

Steiner-Parker Synthasystem

Steiner-Parker Synthasystem – Back :: Power and Keyboard sockets

Steiner-Parker Synthasystem

Steiner-Parker Synthasystem – Keyboard … I love the design of this modular!

Steiner-Parker Synthasystem

Steiner-Parker Synthasystem – Extra controls for the Keyboard

Steiner-Parker Synthasystem

Steiner-Parker Synthasystem Keys

Steiner-Parker Synthasystem

Steiner-Parker Synthasystem

Steiner-Parker Synthasystem

Steiner-Parker Synthasystem – Front Panel closeup

The following text is taken from The A-Z of Analogue Synthesizers, by Peter Forrest, published by Susurreal Publishing, Devon, England, copyright 1994 Peter Forrest

Modules:
Name: VCO 1
Size (unitwidths): 4

This module is a Voltage Controlled Oscillator, with knobs for frequency (large knob), fine tune (small knob) and pulse width. There is also 4 knobs to attenuate/mix the output levels of each of the four waveforms (triangle, sine, sawtooth, and pulse. Each waveform has two output jacks each. To control the frequency, there are 3 voltage control inputs and one other variable voltage control input. The variable input has a small screw for adjusting the volts per octave. There are also control inputs for phase reset and for pulse width.

Name: VCO2
Size (unitwidths): 2

This Voltage Controlled Oscillator is a simpler in design with knobs for frequency, fine tune, output level of sine waveform and output level of the sawtooth waveform. Sine and sawtooth are the only waveforms available with this module. 3 voltage control inputs control the frequency, one of them being variable with a small screw adjusting the volts per octave. There is an additional control input for phase reset.

Name: VCO3
Size (unitwidths): 1

Simple Voltage Controlled Oscillator with knobs for frequency and level only. There are 2 fixed control inputs and one variable, as well as a phase reset input. This oscillator was probably designed to be used as a control voltage (LFO).

Name: VCF
Size (unitwidths): 2

This is a multimode Voltage Controlled Filter which can be switched via a knob to low-pass, high-pass, or band-pass. There are also knobs for Frequency and for Resonance (Q). There are three signal inputs and two signal outputs. For control voltages, there are two inputs, one of them variable.

Name: Noise
Size (unitwidths): 1

This is a simple Noise Generator with a knob for level, a switch which chooses either white or pink noise, and two signal outputs.

Name: Balanced Modulator
Size (unit widths): 1

This is also known as a Ring modulator with an input for the signal, an input for the carier, and an output for the resulting waveform. There is a knob to adjust the amounts of the signal and the carrier and an adjustment screw (CAR. NULL) for finding the null point. There is also a switch between MULT. and SQUARE.

Name: Input Amp
Size (unit widths): 1

This is an Input Amplifier with three inputs, including one 1/4-inch jack. There is a knob for level 2 switches for selecting low/high gain, and flat/RIAA equalization.

Name: V.C. Trigger Generator
Size (unit widths): 2

This is a Voltage Control Trigger Generator module with a knob for both duration and rate. There are buttons for Gate and Manual, as well as a RUN switch. There are voltage control inputs for rate, duration, and triger gate. There are 4 trigger outputs.

Name: Sample and Hold
Size (unit widths): 1

This module seems to be two Sample & Hold modules in one. It has two knobs for level, two signal inputs, two trigger inputs as well as two signal outs. There is also switch labeled COM.

Name: Triple Envelope Generator
Size (unit widths): 4

“Steiner Parker Envelopes are quite unique. Envelopes 1 & 2 are ADS/ADSR. ADS or ADSR determined by the DAMP switch. Envelope 3 is more complex. It can be either ASD/ASDR or ATD/ATDR (T=Time). Time or Sustain is determined by the EXT switch. Also note that time/sustain segment is before decay.

Details
“The “TRIPLE ENVELOPE GEN.” module has 3 trigger inputs, and 3 CV outputs labelled:
TRIGGER INPUTS Com. 1 2 3
ENVELOPE OUTPUTS Com. 1 2 3
ENVELOPE 1:
(Knobs) ATTACK DURATION LEVEL DECAY OUTPUT LEVEL
(switches) QTN DAMP

ENVELOPE 2:
(Knobs) ATTACK DURATION LEVEL DECAY OUTPUT LEVEL
(switches) CON. QTN DAMP

ENVELOPE 3:
(Knobs) ATTACK DURATION LEVEL DECAY OUTPUT LEVEL
(switches) CON. EXT DAMP

“DURATION = Sustain (I will use S=Sustain and D=Decay in notes below)

“The DAMP feature on Env 1 & 2 dampens the release time. With Damp off, the decay time is also the release time. With Damp on the release time is supposed to be turned off. This is similar to the minimoog’s release on/off (in reverse), but the damp doesn’t work perfectly, so with full decay (about 8 seconds) you get about 1/3 second release time.

“The QTN feature on Env 1 & 2 effects how the envelope responds to a short gate time. With QTN on the Env switches from the attack segment to the decay segment upon release of a note, the decay segment runs from that level. With QTN off the attack segment always completes its full cycle time before the decay then runs its full cycle.

“The EXT feature of ENV 3 determines whether the Duration Time is a fixed duration set by the knob (up to about 3 seconds on mine) or if the Duration Time matches the incoming gate signal.

“The COM. feature on the right side of Env 2 & 3 determines whether the envelope trigger input comes from the respective trigger inputs 2 & 3 or from the Com. 1 trigger input.

“The COM. feature on the left side of Env 2 & 3 determines whether the envelope output goes to the respective output 2 & 3 or to the Com. 1 output. This allows you to layer envelopes to the same destination without an external CV mixer.”
[by Mike Kent]

Name: Tuner Monitor
Size (unitwidths): 2

This module has an input, an output and a mono headphone out 1/4-inch jack. There is a 4 position knob selecting between OUT, MON., TUNE, and T. OUT and a small screw marked REF. TUNE.

Name: VCA/mixer
Size (unitwidths): 2

This Voltage Controlled Amplifier module has three inputs, each with its own Gain knob. There are two voltage control inputs, a knob for overall gain, and one signal out.

Name: ?.
Size (unitwidths): 2

This module has no name. It contains 4 sets of 4 points multiples, two labled for keyboard voltage. The on/off switch is here, as well as connection for power (+12V, -12V, Ground)

Arp 1623 Sequencer :: Obliq Museum

Wow, what an incredible sequencer. The latest version of this great and classic sequencer, the Rev 3. This was a lot of fun and was used in MANY of our tracks. I got it from New Mexico and it came with an Arp Axxe Rev 3; the sequencer was never used! It went to a collector’s home in Europe and I’m sure is still babied!

Arp 1623 Sequencer

Arp 1623 Sequencer

Arp 1623 Sequencer

Arp 1623 Sequencer

Bohm Soundlab :: Obliq Museum

The Soundlab was a DIY or prefab mono synth. The thing I like about this the most was the joystick; it added a great level of control and modulation to the synthesizer. This had the following modules:

Joystick.
Keyboard.
Multifunction.
Dual VCO
Dual VCA
Dual VCF
Dual VC-ASDR
LFO / S/H / Ring Modulator / Noise

According to the A to Z of Analogue Synthesizers book; there were about 250 produced.
Here is more information.

Boehm Soundlab Modular

Boehm Soundlab Modular

Boehm Soundlab Modular

Boehm Soundlab Modular

Boehm Soundlab Modular

Boehm Soundlab Modular

Boehm Soundlab Modular

Boehm Soundlab Modular

Boehm Soundlab Modular

Boehm Soundlab Modular

Multicast’s Museum in the Dark – 10/24/9

Multicast was able to provide soundtrack music for the “Museum in the Dark” opening at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History.  This was a fabulous showing of great paleontology and geology, especially with the “spooky” atmospheric music ala Multicast with Charles Balas.

You can listen to the show in 192K MP3 format.  Download a printable CD cover.